Painkiller, a case study.


Firstly, my name is Vladimir spids Pornavich, and Im an average gamer that just plays games for fun. Secondly, Im about to share with you some thoughts on Painkillers return from the dead and such.

I would like to thank pkeuro for providing me with a place to vent my feelings. BIG UP THE PKEURO GUYS, RESTECPA!!

Now, the point of this article is for me to explain my views on current happenings with Painkiller, the World Tour and other things that may cross my mind once I stop talking bollocks and get down to the serious stuff. Ok, lets begin.

When I first heard of Painkiller from E3 2003.. I thought “great, another Quake-like game with new gfx and weapons”, “Im gonna keep my eye on this”. So, I did. I got involved with the early formation of pkeuro, got to know the guys on IRC and we all waited eagerly. Then there was a leaked build sometime in late 2003, in which we all jumped on and played. We thought, “buggy, yes. but it has potential already”. So we waited some more. We finally got the chance to play the real thing in the middle of April this year, and we were all shocked at the state of MP. The MP was probably the worst you could ever hope for out of the box, it was like playing the leaked build all over again, only this time with more maps and weapons. The netcode couldnt even handle 1v1s properly, there was no callvote system, no dedicated server, no nothing really.

Anyway, Painkiller got a lot of much needed fixes in patches coming out at a regular basis. Although, we all knew the netcode would never be fixed unless it got re-wrote from scratch. It never did. Painkiller went on to appear at The CPL and ESWC this year, in which it made quite an impression.

Now, to compare Painkiller to any other game would be stupid. Unless ofcourse, you see its similarities to the almighty QuakeWorld.. then I guess you could compare it in some sense. However, Im going to try and compare some basic features with other games currently on the market, such as UT2004.

Forgive me if I dont get everything correct, as I have only played UT2004 about 10 times ever. Anyway, 1 thing that comes to mind when comparing Painkiller to UT2004 is that in reality, you cant. Other than UT2004 went to something new in gaming, like making vehicles and vehicle based game-modes an option to play. Which, seems to me that the developers of UT2004 seem to want to push gaming to a futuristic level, where as Painkiller wants people to stay with the old times and do some OLD SKOOL fragging. I know which Id prefer. 🙂

Onto the CPL World Tour, I am sure many people are confused as to why Painkiller got chosen over UT2004, and Im not going to bash anyone for that. I am as much confused as you are. Painkiller has horrible netcode, no advanced tourney features and certainly no tourney tools such as PKTV. Where as UT2004 has them all. UT2004 also has the larger fanbase, where as Painkiller still to this day, doesnt have more than 100 people online at any one time. This leads me to believe Painkiller was simply chosen because:

1) The CPL got paid to use Painkiller.
2) UT2004 devs/publisher dont see UT2004 as a tourney game. ie. dont support it enough.
3) The CPL just simply liked Painkiller duels.

If Im honest, Id say #3 was a more truthful answer. Although Im sure a lot of you think otherwise. I also believe Painkiller was the right game to choose, even with its lack luster of features. Speaking of features, did you see the list of promised things for the World Tour?

I would like to question how they came up with this list. Theres gotta be some other reason to why they want the things on that list other than the old “CS has them, and look how successful that game is in tourneys” answer. I heard a rumour that a couple of CAL admins went around and asked people what they wanted for PK, and thats how the list was formed. Who did they ask? Why did they ask those specific people? Id like to see an answer to that.

Another thing that springs to mind when I hear about these promises are:

1) Isnt this the same DC that promised us new netcode long ago?
2) Isnt this the same DC that promised us pro-mode for 1.2?
3) Isnt this the same DC that promised us a QW like game out-of-the-box?
4) Isnt this the same DC that promises a lot of stuff, but it never actually happens?

My point is, DC break promises. They promise all this stuff, but in reality they are just the publisher. They dont have to code anything. All they do is rely on the work of, and take the credit from the developers of Painkiller; PCF. So what Im really trying to say is, dont take everything the “publisher” says foregranted. Especially this publisher. Its also odd that PCF werent even mentioned by cpl/dc at the world tour announcement, that was broadcasted by TsN.

I hope Painkiller does well at the WT this year and from what Ive seen, all the new people that have come to Painkiller since the WT announcement have enjoyed it. Its a different style of game to what we see these days. Its very very old skool, like the types of QW and Q3. PKCTF may even become big in BOOH also, and even TDM.


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